Modernising parliamentary democracy

Marriage from hell: what can Australia’s coalition tell us about the Tory-DUP government?

Marriage from hell: what can Australia’s coalition tell us about the Tory-DUP government?

For the first time in British history, the Conservatives will be forced to rely on the hardline, illiberal Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to push through legislation. It is also the first time in the modern era that the British government will be forced to rely on a party with a strong sense of regional identity […]

A return to two-party politics? Don’t believe it

A return to two-party politics? Don’t believe it

The snap election may have seen the biggest combined vote between the two main parties since 1970, but this is not the result of lost voters returning to their political homes, writes Darren Hughes. On the contrary, it is the outcome of 21st century voting patterns playing out within a broken 19th century voting system. Similar PostsNo one won […]

How groupthink in Theresa May’s No 10 led to another round of political chaos

How groupthink in Theresa May’s No 10 led to another round of political chaos

The UK’s political turmoil continues with a disastrous Conservative election campaign. But what led to the multiple miscalculations involved? Patrick Dunleavy argues that it forms part of a wider pattern of mis-governing from the centre of Whitehall – and it has characterised Theresa May’s leadership style from the outset. Similar PostsNo one won this General Election – and […]

Plagued by delays: the June election is bad news for the Intelligence and Security Committee

Plagued by delays: the June election is bad news for the Intelligence and Security Committee

The only two female members of the Intelligence and Security Committee are leaving the Commons at the general election, and the whole Committee will have to be re-formed after June. Andrew Defty says one of its reports has been rushed out before the election with the government’s redactions unchallenged, and a long-delayed inquiry into the UK intelligence […]

Over-mighty executive: since 1997, Britain has been drifting towards elective dictatorship

Over-mighty executive: since 1997, Britain has been drifting towards elective dictatorship

Since 1997, simple parliamentary majorities have been used to radically alter the constitutional make-up of the UK. Devolution and the creation of the Supreme Court have transformed the country’s institutions. Nat le Roux argues that this is evidence of a growing imbalance of power. The executive can change the institutions of state at will – often […]

Gender equality in Parliament: how random selection could get us there

Gender equality in Parliament: how random selection could get us there

Would choosing the second chamber by sortition be an effective way to achieve a 50:50 balance between men and women? John Dryzek argues that the upper chamber – in Australia as in the UK, a deliberative forum – would be a good place to start, and looks at ways to ensure women sitting in deliberative […]

The trouble with Jeremy Corbyn: five tests the Labour leader is failing

The trouble with Jeremy Corbyn: five tests the Labour leader is failing

Much of the Parliamentary Labour Party want to replace Jeremy Corbyn, and his popularity among the general public is low. Yet he was resoundingly re-elected by party members last autumn. Patrick Diamond assesses the Labour leader’s performance as an opposition leader according to five criteria, and concludes the risk of a Labour schism between ‘principles’ and […]

Women are still outnumbered on Commons select committees

Women are still outnumbered on Commons select committees

Figures from the Select Committee Data Archive Project reveal that women are still outnumbered on Commons select committees, despite a steady increase of female MPs in Westminster. Sophie Wilson looks at the numbers on gender balance of select committees since 1979 and what they mean for parliamentary scrutiny. Similar PostsSelect committees are becoming increasingly significant, […]

Why do the French hate their politicians so much?

Why do the French hate their politicians so much?

The French distrust their politicians and democratic institutions – more so than other Western Europeans. Why? Emiliano Grossman and Nicolas Sauger, authors of Pourquoi détestons-nous nos politiques?, argue that the French presidential system raises unreasonable hopes and expectations that quickly lead to disillusionment among voters. Similar PostsEmmanuel Macron and En Marche! – left, right or […]

It’s time for an end to special religious privileges: we need a secular state

It’s time for an end to special religious privileges: we need a secular state

Should the Anglican peers in the Lords be joined by religious leaders from other faiths? Ought the BBC be required to make religious programmes? Should religious groups enjoy more legal protection? The Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life set out 37 recommendations – which, argues Steven Kettell, are deeply problematic in a society […]

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